Crawley Town’s meteoric rise from non-league obscurity famously included a very unfortunate defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford in the fifth round of the FA Cup last year.
And although promotion will take precedent for the Reds this term – they are currently top of League Two – another decent run towards Wembley will do nothing but further boost their already rising stock.
Steve Evans’s side can boast a record showing just one defeat in their last eighteen league games, winning 13 and drawing four. They have also won eight of their last ten games at home and at this stage of the cup last season, Championship side Derby County perished at the Broadfield Stadium.
Now it’s Bristol City’s turn to avoid the indignity of a humbling to supposed lesser lights, but given that the Robins have failed to progress past this stage in their last four attempts and are currently wallowing just above the Championship relegation zone, it’d be more of a surprise if they were in the bag for Sunday’s draw.
Given the deviations in form between the sides, Crawley are 3/2 favourites to win over 90 minutes on Saturday, with City at 9/5 and the draw at 11/5.
Admittedly, there is an argument which suggests the timing of this match may just suit the visitors.
Derek McInnes’s men have won their last two games either side of the New Year celebrations, including a morale-boosting victory at Southampton, and their previously porous backline have kept three clean sheets in their last four games.
Four of City’s seven wins this season have come away from home and with the dangerous Nicky Maynard good to nick a goal and enough Championship quality to usher the conclusion back to Ashton Gate, a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes looks decently priced at 21/4.
But, if you do fancy the idea of a giant killing, one way to go may be predicting the half-time/full-time result.
Crawley are only sixth in a League Two table based on half-time scores yet sit top overall, while Bristol City have been all square at half-time in 14 of their 25 Championship ties but have gone on to lose 12 games in total.
Those stats suggest this clash is more than likely to still be alive going into the second half and Crawley to win after a half-time draw is way out at 5/1 to add a bit of bang to your buck.
Punters who sign up for a bwin account are entitled to a free £25 bet and putting it on the half-time draw/Crawley win selection could bring you home a tasty £150.
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